Address by Mr. Musinga Bandora, UNDP Resident Representative at the Country Pilot Partnership (CPP) closing gala dinner

Sep 20, 2012

Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Environment and Tourism (in absence); Hon. Ministers representing CPP partner ministries;

Hon. Samuel Nuuyoma, Regional Governor of Khomas Region; Hon. Governors of Caprivi, Omaheke, Oshikoto and Oshana; Distinguished Delegates;

Representatives from Academic institutions;

Non-governmental organisations and civil society representatives; Private sector representatives;

Member of the media;

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Evening

On behalf of the UN family in Namibia, it is a great honor to officiate at the last and final conference organised under the Namibia Country Pilot Partnership Programme on Sustainable Land Management. I am glad to see that this conference is well attended by a wide range of actors- from the private sector, public entities, civil society and community- based organizations as well as delegates from Uganda, Lesotho, Madagascar, Kenya and Ethiopia. I appreciate that many of you have travelled long distances to be here. Undoubtedly, this reflects the importance we all attach to the issues of sustainable land and natural resources management- issues which you have discussed in detail over the past three days.

Although I did not have time to be with you during the deliberations I have glanced through the banners and posters displayed here tonight. They gave me a quick overview of the extent and scope of the projects and its achievements. Indeed through these posters and banners I am able to learn that through the CPP communities in Namibia have benefited in a variety of ways:

  • Some by adding value to non-timber forest products are now producing jam and juice from natural marula fruits.
  • • Some  have  diversified  community  livelihoods  through  sustainable  harvesting  of reeds used for making various outdoors craft products, and household furniture.
  • And others have made strides in meeting their energy needs from renewable sources.

They are manufacturing fire blocks from waste paper which are used for cooking, heating and insulation. The majority of Namibians like in many African countries still depend on trees and forests to meet their energy needs.

Ladies and gentlemen

Of course, these achievements did not happen by chance. They did because of the tenacious oversight of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism-but especially-because of the guidance and able leadership which Hon. Meme Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah provided throughout the life span of the CPP Programme.  Indeed the achievements  of the CPP Programme will stand as positive legacy for Namibia as well as for other arid and dry lands’ countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. We appreciate your efforts and on behalf of everyone-and especially UNDP-I say thank you very much.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Namibia   CPP is the first of its kind in Africa.   It  was  innovative   and groundbreaking.   It  was  inclusive  and  built  around  the  participation   of  the  direct beneficiaries.   And it was sustained by true partnerships -which as you were informed- grew from six to nine partner ministries and several civil society organizations- notably the Desert Research Foundation, Namibia Nature Foundation, Kohemo Namibia, Namibia Development Trust and Nya-Nyae Development Foundation. All these were all involved at various levels of CPP implementation.

The  Global  Environmental  Facility  as  donor  provided  catalytic  resources  which Namibia  has complemented  to address  the  challenge  of land  degradation.  The United Nations Development Programme has provided both strategic resources and technical support to CPP.

Through this partnership the objectives of ensuring environmental, economic and social benefits were attained. Alternative livelihoods options and seasonal food security options were explored and secured through improvement of land management practices. Barriers at policy, institutional,   individual   and systemic   levels were removed.   Initiatives that supported women, youth and indigenous groups were supported through a multi- dimensional approach to addressing land degradation and innovation- taking advantage of the land degradation problem and turning it into an opportunity for development response.

This collaboration was a win-win partnership. Through it UNDP as a partner has learnt lessons-from the government as well as from the organizations that implemented CPP.

These lessons and experiences will help in up calling response to land degradation problems in Namibia and in developing similar programmes in other countries. Indeed, the focus and emphasis of this conference was rightly placed on up-scaling and replicating for impacts. For any project coming to an end up-scaling and replicating for impacts- should be the focus- so that interventions do not end with projects. In this the government, private sector and development partners have a shared responsibility to ensure that going forward, this happens.

Ladies and gentlemen

I  am  informed  that  throughout  the  conference  you  have  had  the  representation  of regional governors providing wisdom, project managers managing projects, community members  sharing community  level practices  and experiences.  You have academic and researchers sharing knowledge and research findings, and international delegates from other countries bringing along south-south experiences and best practices. With a representation from all levels of society, I am sure that the conference has met its twin objectives of sharing and learning experiences.  Platforms such as this are indeed important and  their  outcomes  must  be  converted  into  knowledge  products  so  that  the  sharing continues beyond those who attended this conference.

As we finalize the CPP Programme, I would like to re-assure you of our commitment to supporting Namibia to attain her development aspirations. Congratulations again to the CPP Partners for setting the pace for other countries to learn from and to use your management tool box that you have piloted through the Namibia Country Pilot Partnership Programme for integrated sustainable land management.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am told there is a DJ in house. I wish you a great evening of networking, dining and dancing.

I thank you!